Obama Riffs on Bush As Pyongyang Stays on Tempo

Generally, I think sanctions have little effect except to please domestic constituencies in the sanctioning state and to give other states opportunities to fill the void. That’s why I generally agree with Tad Farrell’s yawning acknowledgment of the Obama administration’s burst of sanctions activity on Pyongyang.

As some analysts have already commented, this new round of U.S sanctions will likely be regarded as “meaningless” by the DPRK.

Vengeance Is a Missile

Joshua Pollack points out one island-sized problem with the ROK’s new Hyunmi-C missile.

In the last few years, South Korea has gone back and forth over whether to describe the North as “the main enemy.” At one level, the words are immaterial; it’s painfully obvious whose army is lined up on the other side of the DMZ. (Hint: not Burkina Faso’s.) But at another level, calling the DPRK the enemy actually might serve as a helpful clarification for decision-makers in Seoul.

All of this is by way of drawing attention to a small discrepancy in recent media reports about the Hyunmu-3C ground-launched cruise missile, described by anonymous ROK defense officials as having a range of 1,500 km.

The Chosun Ilbo calls it the successor to cruise missiles of 500 km and 1,000 km range, and explains,

DPRK’s Burmese Lifeline

In addition to the weapons sales and tunnel expertise the DPRK is trading for Burmese raw goods, including food,  New Old FriendsYangon is helping to extend Iran’s strategic reach in Southeast Asia.

…the Burmese military regime has recently boosted ties with Iran, which according to the UN report is also allegedly receiving nuclear and missile technologies from North Korea.

No Mourning the Naro-1

I hope there’s no Naro-2. Really!

The fireball that was Naro-1 is more impressive than the thinking that went into it. One only has to think of SpaceX’s Falcon 9 or JAEA’s IKAROS, to see why failure is Seoul’s best option.

Let the Freest Rocket Win

Even if the Korea Aerospace Research Institute (KARI) could manage to launch the Naro I (KSLV-I), does it really matter? It seems all so 1950s.

The part-Russian, part Korean rocket is a result of a 502.5 billion won ($418 million) investment. Russia’s Khrunichev State Research and Production Space Center, which is providing the core technologies for the Korean rocket project, designed and developed the KSLV-I first-stage, which holds the rocket engine and liquid-fuel propulsion system.

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